The first combined Kura Māori language art exhibition will be held at Massey University tomorrow. The inaugural event will feature art pieces from around 60 year 7-10 pupils from five local Kura Māori within the district.
Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Studies will host the exhibition, which also acts as a process to select an art piece to promote the government’s health and social services policy Whānau Ora within the district.
For the past month pupils have worked hard on developing posters in Te Reo Māori using the theme of Whānau Ora (family wellbeing) as means of affirming those aspects that keep them and their family safe and well.
The genesis of the exhibition came from a collective subgroup of health services for Māori as part of MidCentral Health’s family violence intervention programme, Te Reo poster project coordinator Tawhiti says.
The chosen posters from the exhibition will be printed and distributed to local Māori communities to acknowledge, assert and reinforce Whānau Ora as the means of intervening, deterring and preventing family violence, Mr Kunaiti says.
Five total immersion Mäori language schools (four kura kaupapa and one kura-a-iwi) were invited to submit artwork for the inaugural exhibition, and are from the Otaki, Palmerston North and Tamaki-nui-a-Rua localities of the MidCentral Health/Central Primary Health Organisation district.
Massey Professor of Māori Languange Tai Black says the exhibition connects language and art, engages with students and creates pathways for the future. “We are building the next level of language and art champions,” he says. “It is a privilege and honour to host this Whānau Ora Te Kura Kaupapa Māori Te Reo-Art Exhibition.”
He says this type of initiative unites the community, kura kaupapa students and the University, bringing together distinctive forms of Māori knowledge. It introduces art and language into the whānau ora concept, and builds on the capacity of social, cultural visual arts and language revitalisation. “This is more than just an exhibition. It is an opportunity to transmit unique art and language forms to the next generation”, Professor Black says.
Whānau Ora Minister and Māori Party co-leader Tariana Turia will be guest speaker at the exhibition and will present all awards prior to a hakari luncheon held at the exhibition to celebrate Matariki, the Māori new year.
“It is wonderful that we are actively encouraging our rangatahi to engage with the kaupapa of Whānau Ora,” Mrs Turia says. “I am looking forward to seeing the work produced by our rangatahi, and to see how their whakaaro, their worldview, and indeed their whanau have shaped their perspectives on Whānau Ora.”
Souce: Press Release – Massey University